OIL PAINTING: The Lady of Shalott, 1888
The Lady of Shalott embodies the woman who abandons her social responsibility in her pursuit of love. But different moments in the story evoke different visual implications, as demonstrated by the many versions of the painting. For instance, Hunt chose to depict the moment at which the mirror breaks and the curse descends; Waterhouse shows the Lady loosing the chains of her boat; John La Farge's Lady has already died in her boat in his version; and Lancelot finds Rossetti's Lady as she arrives in Camelot. Each of these individual moments involve slightly different emotions which the artist then emphasizes. Despite the various interpretations by Pre-Raphaelite artists, at its most basic level Tennyson's poem describes the time old tale of dying for love, as the Lady of Shalott becomes a martyr for a love she never actually experiences.